The Elephants and the Lake-E:162
When a herd of elephants threaten to take away a beautiful lake by the shore of the moon, where a family of hares live, how will the hares manage to protect their beloved lake? A lovely tale from India that reminds us of the importance of finding creative and peaceful ways to solve problems! (duration 11 minutes)
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Celebrate Creative Problem Solving with this Wise Indian Folktale-Storytelling Podcast for Kids
#162 The Elephants and the Lake
Has anyone ever tried to take something from you that belonged to you? What was it? What did you do to stop them?
Hello everyone. I’m Kathleen Pelley. Welcome to Journey with Story. Well, I’m not sure how you answered my question, but I bet that some of you maybe said things like, someone tried to take away a special toy from you, or maybe a book, or maybe even your place in line at school cafeteria? Wondering if any of you came up with a good way of stopping this from happening?
Today’s tale is a story from India about a herd of elephants who try to take away a whole lake from a group of hares who live nearby. Wondering if you can guess what the hares did to stop them? Let’s find out …
Oh, but first – a shout out to Stella Roberts and her sister Sofie who sent us their marvelous drawings inspired by our episode called Mrs. Tittlemouse. Thank you girls – what a great job you did!
Let’s take a journey with The Elephants and the Lake.
Long ago, in India, by the shores of the Lake of the Moon, there lived a large family of hares. The hares were happy there, for the water in the lake was healing and sacred and protected from the harsh glare of the sun because of the moon’s cool gaze.
One year a dreadful drought came over the land. All the rivers and streams and lakes dried up. A herd of elephants who lived a distance away from the lake began to wander day after day in search of water.
Their usual watering holes were dry and cracked, and so they plodded for miles and miles in search of water. Then they grew too weak and feeble from thirst and hunger, and so they sent out a few elephants as scouts to see if they could find water for them.
The scouts traveled far and wide, and one day they came to the Lake of the Moon. The sight of this fresh, full glistening lake filled them with hope and they hurried home to tell the rest of their herd about their discovery.
When the other elephants heard about the Lake of the Moon, they too were filled with hope and they said to their king, “We must travel to this lake at once.” And so they set off as one herd all travelling together. As they walked, they chanted-
“We’ll bathe again!”
“We’ll drink to our heart’s content!”
“We’ll splash and swim and sip!”
“Gurgle and guzzle!”
And so they trundled off in a great, rumbling herd toward the Lake of the Moon.
When the first elephants spotted the lake, they trumpeted” We’ve made it! Water at last!”
Then they all began to run toward the lake.
Now as it happened, the hares had appointed some of their number to guard their lake. When the hare guards saw the elephants hurtling toward the water, they hurried to warn their fellow hares.
“Quick! Quick! Run for shelter,” they cried. The hares at once began to pick up their young ones and scramble to find safe hiding spots, all the while shouting and squealing in terror, “Hurry! Move! Hide! “
But, alas, the herd of elephants were thirsty and hot, and so desperate to reach the water, that they continued to charge blindly ahead, not even noticing the hares in their path. They saw only the water and so in their haste, they trampled over many of the poor hares.
When the elephants reached the lake, they plunged in and bathed and drank and swam and spouted water from their trunks.
The hares peeked out from their hiding spots. Then they called upon their king, and begged for his help. The elephants are going to take over our lake and we will lose our beloved home. What can we do?”
“Never fear,” said the king of the hares. “I know exactly what to do.” Of course he did, and this is why he was the king.
The very next day the hare king went to visit the elephant king. “Hello, good sir,” said the hare king. “My mistress, the moon, has sent me here to see you. And I must give you a warning, a warning for all the elephants.”
“What is that?” asked the curious elephant king. He could not imagine what sort of warning the hare had for him.
“The moon is angry with you for visiting her lake. She says she will never forgive you if you do this again. If you decide you must come to her lake, she will stop shining down on you, and the sun’s rays will dry up this lake, too, and then there will be no water to be found anywhere.”
“Ha!” said the elephant king. “I do not believe you.”
“Come then,” said the king of the hares, and he led the elephant king to the edge of the lake. “Look there,” said the hare king. “Look into the lake. What do you see?”
When the elephant king looked down, he saw the moon’s face staring up at him. She looked solemn indeed. “You see that look on her face,” said the wise hare. “She is plotting her revenge upon your herd.”
The elephant king was alarmed. “I am so sorry, moon,” he mumbled. “I have no intention of insulting you,” and he stuck his trunk into the water, hoping moon would take hold of it in a gesture of forgiveness.
But when elephant stuck his trunk into the water, the moon disappeared. “She’s gone!” he gasped.
“She will forgive you only if you leave her lake,” said the king of the hares, and so the elephant nodded. He raised his trunk out of the water, and there, once more, was moon. “I will leave now,” said the king of the elephants, and he called his tribe to him, and the herd walked away, and never again did the elephants visit the Lake of the Moon. And so the family of hares continued to live in great peace and contentment by the shores of the Lake of the Moon.
Did any of you guess how the hares would stop the elephants from coming to take over their lake? They were pretty clever, weren’t they?
Do you think they were right to trick the elephants and send them away? Or do you think that was a bit selfish of them? This would make for a good discussion with your friends and family. What do you think this story’s souvenir is? What glimmer of truth about being human does it tell us? Yes, I think maybe it has something to do with – if we muster all our wits and cleverness, then we can usually find a non-violent way to solve a problem just like our hare did.
Some of you may remember another Indian tale from our podcast that was also about a herd of elephants – it was called The Elephants’ Reward – you might like to take a listen to it again and think about what its souvenir is.
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Cheerio then, join us next time for Journey with Story